Art lessons from my four-year-old

With some of my FB friends requesting to fill their timelines with art instead of foodie shots and selfies I was inspired to share with you Adrian’s new interest.

Their class has learned a lot about different artists this spring term that he started teaching us about them. His ability to keep information and share them with us is really amazing to me (sorry I’m a bit mommy proud!). I wish we could visit Tate Modern again and let him see and appreciate all his artists masterpiece in real life.

It started out with this conversation

Me: What did you do in school today?
Adrian: We did art mommy! Just like Jackson Pollock!

Me being illiterate about art had to google who Pollock was! And so after this, every week he’d tell us about a new artist they’ve learned about in school there was Mondrian, Kandinsky, Paul Klee and the latest one is Van Gogh.

These are some of Adrian’s art lessons:

Jackson Pollock makes art like this – his hands making a gesture of him throwing paint.

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J. Pollock at work

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Not understanding what he was doing, I researched Pollock and turns out he’s very famous for the style of art that he does which is called drip painting. You learn something new everyday huh? and so the art lessons continue…

Mondrian makes art with black lines and color inside.

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Kandinsky makes circles

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Paul Klee makes funny faces!

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Van Gogh makes sunflowers!

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I hope that aside from doing well in his academics he doesn’t lose this love for art. For sure I will try my best to nurture this interest and if it becomes his hobby or his life’s work, I will surely be one proud momma!

P.S. Found these photos in my library. Taken at Tate Modern in London October 2013. Hope Adrian appreciates this post when he’s older.

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Adrian with Kandinsky’s Swinging

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Buste de Femme by Pablo Picasso

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I am a Filipino.

There are so many things that have been said and written about the Philippines these past few days mostly because of typhoon Haiyan. This letter caught my attention because it is something different, it’s a letter from an expatriate to us Filipinos telling us how special he thinks we all are.

In times like these it’s nice to know someone appreciates who we are and the things we do.

LOVE LETTER TO FILIPINOS ||David H. Harwell, PhD

I am writing to thank Filipinos for the way you have treated me here, and to pass on a lesson I learned from observing the differences between your culture and mine over the years.
I am an expatriate worker. I refer to myself as an OAW, an overseas American worker, as a bad joke. The work I do involves a lot of traveling and changing locations, and I do it alone, without family. I have been in 21 countries now, not including my own. It was fun at first. Now, many years later, I am getting tired. The Philippines remains my favorite country of all, though, and I’d like to tell you why before I have to go away again.

I have lived for short periods here, traveled here, and have family and friends here. My own family of origin in the United States is like that of many Americans—not much of a family. Americans do not stay very close to their families, geographically or emotionally, and that is a major mistake. I have long been looking for a home and a family, and the Philippines is the only place I have lived where people honestly seem to understand how important their families are.

I am American and hard-headed. I am a teacher, but it takes me a long time to learn some things. But I’ve been trying, and your culture has been patient in trying to teach me.
In the countries where I’ve lived and worked, all over the Middle East and Asia, it is Filipinos who do all the work and make everything happen. When I am working in a new company abroad, I seek out the Filipino staff when I need help getting something done, and done right. Your international reputation as employees is that you work hard, don’t complain, and are very capable. If all the Filipinos were to go home from the Middle East, the world would stop. Oil is the lifeblood of the world, but without Filipinos, the oil will not come from the ground, it will not be loaded onto the ships, and the ships will not sail. The offices that make the deals and collect the payments will not even open in the morning. The schools will not have teachers, and, of course, the hospitals will have no staff.

What I have seen, that many of you have not seen, is how your family members, the ones who are overseas Filipino workers, do not tell you much about how hard their lives actually are. OFWs are very often mistreated in other countries, at work and in their personal lives. You probably have not heard much about how they do all the work but are severely underpaid, because they know that the money they are earning must be sent home to you, who depend on them. The OFWs are very strong people, perhaps the strongest I have ever seen. They have their pictures taken in front of nice shops and locations to post on Facebook so that you won’t worry about them. But every Pinoy I have ever met abroad misses his/her family very, very much.

I often pity those of you who go to America. You see pictures of their houses and cars, but not what it took to get those things. We have nice things, too many things, in America, but we take on an incredible debt to get them, and the debt is lifelong. America’s economy is based on debt. Very rarely is a house, car, nice piece of clothing, electronic appliance, and often even food, paid for. We get them with credit, and this debt will take all of our lifetime to pay. That burden is true for anyone in America—the OFWs, those who are married to Americans, and the Americans themselves.
Most of us allow the American Dream to become the American Trap. Some of you who go there make it back home, but you give up most of your lives before you do. Some of you who go there learn the very bad American habits of wanting too many things in your hands, and the result is that you live only to work, instead of working only to live. The things we own actually own us. That is the great mistake we Americans make in our lives. We live only to work, and we work only to buy more things that we don’t need. We lose our lives in the process.

I have sometimes tried to explain it like this: In America, our hands are full, but our hearts are empty.

You have many problems here, I understand that. Americans worry about having new cars, Filipinos worry about having enough food to eat. That’s an enormous difference. But do not envy us, because we should learn something from you. What I see is that even when your hands are empty, your hearts remain full.
I have many privileges in the countries where I work, because I am an expat. I do not deserve these things, but I have them. However, in every country I visit, I see that you are there also, taking care of your families, friends, bosses, and coworkers first, and yourselves last. And you have always taken care of me, in this country and in every other place where I have been.

These are places where I have been very alone, very tired, very hungry, and very worried, but there have always been Filipinos in my offices, in the shops, in the restaurants, in the hospitals, everywhere, who smile at and take good care of me. I always try to let you know that I have lived and traveled in the Philippines and how much I like your country. I know that behind those smiles of yours, here and abroad, are many worries and problems.
Please know that at least one of us expats has seen what you do for others and understands that you have a story behind your smiles. Know that at least one of us admires you, respects you, and thanks you for your sacrifices. Salamat po. Ingat lagi. Mahal ko kayong lahat.

Please Like & Share, Thanks!


Just call me, Mrs. Fix-it!

Being a stay at home mom I have to be an all around kind of gal. From cooking, to cleaning, to laundry, to taking care of the kids I’m indeed a renaissance woman. Today I had to take on a new role, being the house plumber.

Our kitchen sink has been clogged since last night. And although there are people we can call to fix these problems,for a fee of course, I thought I could just go ahead and take this project on myself. I watched how they did it last time and it wasn’t rocket science, it was actually more of common sense, it was clogged because there was something blocking it (DUH!) so he just reached in and grabbed whatever it was, I think after watching him do that without gloves, I got so grossed out that when it was time to pay up I doubled his fee out of pity.

Not ready to relive through that again, I seeked the help of some online guidance to help me fix the problem. These are the tips I found online: (I chose this one because I had the materials already at hand)

  1. Pour 1C of Baking Soda down the drain
  2. Followed by 1C of Vinegar
  3. Lastly, freshly boiled water

I repeated this procedure about 3-4 times this morning and it seemed to do the job.

It’s as simple as that! I’ve tried other chemicals available at the supermarkets before and to be honest the result was not as good as the Baking soda-vinegar mix. So why go for something that can be hazardous to our environment when a simple powder-liquid mix can do the job.

I’m very proud of my accomplishments today. Not to mention the money I was able to save not calling the fix-it guy.

Credits to: http://home.howstuffworks.com/home-improvement/plumbing/how-to-unclog-a-drain.htm for the tips


It’s more FUN in the Philippines!

I super love this video and the song that goes with it always makes me dance!

Happy Philippine Independence day!

Mabuhay tayong lahat!


Anything you can do I can do … better???

Gone are the days that we stereotype certain activities for only men or for only women. Nowadays women can do almost everything a man can do and vice versa. This is true in our house, my husband can do the dishes, clean up and takes care of our boys. These being “women’s only” chores don’t bother him at all. But as for me there are still some chores or responsibilities that I rely on him to do like taking care of the car  – I don’t understand any of it and I refuse to learn it.

But last week I braved myself and took on this “husband” chore. I brought the car to have it serviced. Now I know this sounds very minor but I was very afraid that they might treat me like a gullible woman (that I am) and start to offer me services done to my car that is not necessary and cost me more than what I was supposed to spend. I guess you can say it is my fear of the unknown that is disabling me to do it.

Turns out it’s as simple as 1-2-3. You park the car go to the desk and there is already a list of services that has to be done to your car according to the KM your car has so you hand them your keys, get a cup of coffee while you wait for them to do their job. When your car is ready they come up to you and you pay your bill and drive off. I must admit it was a relaxing morning which I haven’t had in a while.

It was so simple I didn’t know what I was afraid of and why I’ve never done it before. I remember the last time we had to have my car serviced, my husband and I had to go to a lot of trouble we had to change cars (which means move the car seats), and because he had to go to work he left the car at the service centre and took a taxi to work, then I had to pick him up at the office and we drove to the service center after work (mind you all this activity we had the kids with us). Now I know I can do it myself I’m actually excited about the next time.

I guess this is just one more thing that men do that women can do too (in my book). Now if only men can be good in directions and be right most of the times then we’d truly be equal. hehe

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coffee shop inside the TOYOTA showroom

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he enjoyed playing with all the sugar and cream on the table while we were waiting (no relation to the post hehe)